Conversation between Confucianism and Buddhism
Title: Conversation between Confucianism and Buddhism
Date: November 26, 2021
Co-organized by: SKKU’s Institute of Confucian Philosophy and Culture, the Center for Contemporary Studies of East Asian Classics and Critical Confucianism (CCECC), and the Seongchol Institute of Buddhism
Confucian ethics implied in the notions of Three Bonds and Five Relationships, and the Buddhist world-view contained in the notion of Karma played a key role in the formation of traditional thoughts of Korea as well as of China. The dynamic interplay between Buddhism and Confucianism characteristic of the Korean intellectual tradition, however, has been lost as Confucianism declined with the collapse of the Chosun Dynasty, which relied on Confucianism for its ruling ideology, and Western religions and cultures flowed into the Korean society. The need for the revival of an active and constructive dialogue between Buddhism and Confucianism comes from the fact that our Korean society is increasingly facing confrontations and conflicts at various levels without suitable philosophical visions for overcoming them. Despite differences in their cultural backgrounds and philosophical approaches, Buddhism and Confucianism have offered prospects for social harmony and coexistence through their dynamic communications. Likewise, the active communications between the two traditions, attempted through this conference, will help us develop a cooperative spirit to overcome the confrontations and conflicts of our times.
Achievement: Through academic exchanges with Buddhist research organizations, we conducted research for articulating the spirit of reconciliation and coexistence as it is relevant and helpful to today’s Korean society by reviving the tradition of the intellectual communication between Buddhism and Confucianism. Thus, we were able to carry out a substantial investigation into the relationship of Gyeonghak (the study of classics) and Confucianism with Buddhism and reexamine the harmonious communication between the two traditions from today’s perspective, attempting at revealing its invaluable importance in dealing with social conflicts and confrontations prevalent in our time.